RBS - Direct Line Conveyancing Panel Information

The information on this page is designed to keep solicitors and licensed conveyancers abreast of latest requirements changes by RBS - Direct Line and to assist in remaining on the RBS - Direct Line Conveyancing Panel.

RBS - Direct Line Conveyancing Panel: Recently Asked Questions

Can a practice submit a complaint to the Council of Mortgage Lenders about being suspended from the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel?
The Council of Mortgage Lenders is not a regulator and therefore do not investigate complaints against lenders. You can of course contact Lexsure to see if we can assist.

Read More

Am I obliged, being on the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel, to carry out a Cancel Search?
RBS - Direct Line make no specific obligation to carry out any of the searches listed. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook simply states that ‘you must ensure that any other searches which may be appropriate to the particular property, taking into account its locality and other features are carried out’.

Please note that most ‘less usual searches’ (as described in the Law Society’s Conveyancing Handbook) are not optional as far as RBS - Direct Line are concerned if they are ‘appropriate’. Most lenders will not require environmental searches (you should Check Part 2 of UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook to be sure), but you are obliged to explain risks and availability to the client.

Ground stability, Plansearch,flood searches as well as the searches listed in the question are optional – but only to the extent that you have allowed the borrower client to make an informed choice. Regardless of whether there is a mortgage, If you have not advised the client that these (and other) searches are available and what risks they cover, then you will be liable if the client suffers loss through not conducting one. Does your ROT and Ts and Cs cover this?

A leading search provider lists over 70 conveyancing searches – do you know what all of them are and when they may be relevant? If you are unsure as to which searches are appropriate based on location contact your search provider or call one of the leading search companies such as STL.

It is possible that RBS - Direct Line could request or audit my files as I am on the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel. Are there any confidentiality issues that I need to consider first?
We can't comment specifically on RBS - Direct Line. Many major lenders are now introducing ‘file auditing’ as standard practice in relation to completed matters. This raises questions of confidentiality in relation to the borrower and the purpose to which the results of such audits will be put. The starting point is to remember that the file does not belong to your firm, it belongs to the ‘client’. But, of course, we will normally have two clients – the buyer and the lender - and you will owe a duty of confidentiality to each. So basically, you have to separate the file and just send the lender the parts solely relating to themselves. But, of course, as this will basically be correspondence with the lender, mortgage instructions etc.

Check with your COLP but a firm should not send the complete conveyancing file without the buyer client’s express consent – and if he is in arrears with the lender he is hardly likely to agree. However, if the lender can establish a prima facie case of fraud, then you may be under an obligation to disclose the whole file.

The emerging convention is that lenders are including an authority to disclose in loan application forms to counter this problem. Mortgage Express v Sawali, [2010] EWHC 3054 (Ch) indicates that such provisions are valid. Please click here for more information about that case.

In my capacity as Compliance Officer for Legal Practice should I be thinking about SRA Handbook implications if my firm is removed off the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel?
The answer to this question really depends on the reason that your firm has been removed off the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel. The top 3 reasons are as follows:
  1. lack of transactions
  2. the lawyer is a sole practitioner
  3. as part of the HSBC panel reduction.
In these three circumstances it is unlikely that you would expected to take any action. Disclosure and other compliance considerations are more likely to be relevant if the reason for removal is due to breaches of lender requirements or allegations of fraud or negligence. Whether the reasoning should trigger a disclosable 'material' breach will depend on the firm and the circumstances around possible failures to comply with the SRA Authorisation Rules, and the SRA will judge each case on its own merits. Factors such as the detriment or risk of detriment to clients, the scale of the issue and overall impact on the firm will need to be considered in deciding whether a failure is 'material'. As the COLP you will need systems to identify patterns of breaches. Even if you don't consider there to be regulatory implications the firms COFA should give some thought to whether she/he needs to take any action as result of being removed from the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel.
My conveyancing assistant has left my firm unexpectedly. I urgently need to prioritise making sure that charges are registered. That said, how quickly do I need to send deeds to RBS - Direct Line once the charge is registered before my firm runs the risk of being suspended off the conveyancing panel for RBS - Direct Line?
RBS - Direct Line will likely expect the deeds to be sent to them within 10 days of you receiving the TID (unless their specific P2 requirements specifically state that they you are not to send them anything). Most COTs refer to complying with the Certificate of Title referred to in IB (3.7) of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011, published by the Law Society which states that you ‘will despatch to you such deeds and documents relating to the Property as you require with a list of them in the form prescribed by you within ten working days of receipt by us of the title information document from the Land Registry’ As to whether the lender will suspend your panel status this very much varies according to the lender’s own internal policies The more cases you have the more risk you face. Some lenders may take action if there records show that the deeds are outstanding for more than 3 matters. The fact is that if you keep within the time frame then you will have more chance of remaining on the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel.
My firm has just been advised that it’s RBS - Direct Line panel membership suspended but we have not yet been given an explanation yet. I am completing a CQS application questionnaire what details must I report?
In the circumstances please explain on the application what action you have taken to find out the reasons behind cancellation of your RBS - Direct Line panel membership. In particular please provide details if you have received communications from the lender. E.G. before termination of your panel membership did you receive any letters or calls from the lender informing you as to why they reached this decision?
Our practice is on the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel and scheduled to complete a remortgage within the next week. My file does not contain a Mortgage Deed for the client to execute. Who do I contact at RBS - Direct Line to get a duplicate Deed?
You should communicate with RBS - Direct Line to obtain standard documents. The CML Handbook includes a specific section for banks to set out who to contact to obtain standard documents. RBS - Direct Line in their Part 2’s state:
You will need to disclose your RBS - Direct Line solicitors panel number.

Find a Lawyer on the RBS - Direct Line Conveyancing Panel

powered by LenderPanel

Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of RBS - Direct Line
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
YearDays*
2024 [no data]
2023 [no data]
2022 [no data]
2021 [no data]
2020 [no data]
2019 [no data]
* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor